Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Snow stops buses, closes schools

View of Derry in the snow
Charlie McMenamin took this picture of Derry City in the snow from Sheriff's Road

Schools were closed and bus services cancelled in Londonderry on Tuesday after heavy overnight snowfalls across the north west.

Bus services to Creggan have been cancelled, and there is a reduced service between Hazelbank and Creggan crossroads.

Services to Lone Moor Road, Gobnascale, Ballymagroarty, Newbuildings and Hazelbank have been restored.

Several secondary schools in Derry and some rural primary schools are closed.

Conditions are extremely treacherous, and drivers are advised to take extreme care when travelling.

There were a number of minor collisions in Derry.

Schools closed

Bready Jubilee Primary School
Gortin Primary School
Knockavoe School and Resource Centre, Strabane
Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, Greencastle
St Brigid's Primary School, Cranagh
St Eugene's Primary School, Tircur
St Joseph's Secondary School, Derry
St Mary's Primary School, Altinure
St Mary's Secondary School, Derry
St Patrick's Primary School, Gortin
St Patrick's Primary School, Seskinore
St Peter's Primary School, Plumbridge
St Peter's Secondary School, Derry
St Teresa's Primary School, Loughmacrory
Strabane High School

The principal of St Mary's, Tom O'Kane, said the snow was four to five inches thick.

"Usually somebody makes it in, but not one child has turned up," he said.

"Our teachers also have to make it across mountain roads from south Derry to get here.

"If even one child was injured, or one teacher... it's not worth it."

Sinn Féin assembly member Raymond McCartney, who was travelling from Derry to Belfast, said traffic was still moving on the Glenshane Pass.

"Thankfully right at the top of the pass I could see two snowploughs sitting there, obviously waiting in case the Glenshane would become blocked.

"Coming down towards the Oakleaf filling station, the hill section of the Glenshane is a bit slushy, and Foreglen is a bit more snow-bound but again the road is well-cleared.

"It's a relatively safe journey at present for people to make," he said.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for heavy snow and ice in the north and west.

It will be a bitterly cold day, but the snow should ease during the afternoon.

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